Little Jaxon lived for only five years and was born missing part of his brain. But the precious little boy became an Internet sensation and repeatedly touched the world as viral photos of him became staples on social media thanks to his beautiful face and gorgeous eyes.
Sadly, too many babies like Jaxon become victims of abortion.
You see, Jaxon was an almost-medical miracle who was born with a brain just one fifth of the size of a typical brain. The technical term is microhydranencephaly. And babies with the condition are often aborted instead of given a chance of life. And they normally don’t live very long, usually months after birth.
But Jaxon defied the odds and lived for five years, bringing smiles to millions of people after his parents rejected abortion. Sadly, his parents announced yesterday that he died on April 1st.
The child passed away “very peacefully and comfortably” on April 1 in North Carolina, his parents said.
His story and striking photos — showing what his family described as “bright blue eyes, awesome hair and amazing smile” — made worldwide headlines, and TODAY featured the family’s account of what it was like to care for Jaxon in 2015 and 2016.
“He passed away in my arms and surrounded by his parents and family who were loving on him and providing comfort and endless hours of snuggles throughout his final days,” Brandon Buell, 35, his father, told TODAY in an email.
“Ultimately, Jaxon passed away from his body and organs shutting down, as is common with children like him. This had absolutely nothing to do with the COVID-19 virus, but was something we always knew from the beginning would likely happen. We just didn’t know when.”
Jaxon recently entered into hospice care at home after showing signs of slowing down in the past year or so, and the family was preparing to say goodbye, his dad added.
“Jaxon’s legacy is about his strength and his amazing sweet spirit. He truly made me, his mom, his family, and all who learned of his story better,” he said.
The Buells had a Facebook page they call “Jaxon Strong.” They post everyday pictures to remind their followers and partners, “We’re an ordinary family with an extraordinary son, and we’re doing our best with what we’ve been given.”
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Their story started with an encouragement to have an abortion. After an (incorrect) prenatal diagnosis of spinal bifida was made, doctors advised them repeatedly of the possibility of aborting. Then (with even more certainty) doctors flatly told them their son would die very, very soon after birth.
Very quickly the Buells faced a crossroads. They could stay mentally prepared for his death “or we could focus on his life while hoping and praying for the best.” They decided to “focus on the business of living.”
“Within a few weeks,” Mrs. Buell writes, “I began to see–and trust–that God had a purpose for Jaxon’s life. And if Jaxon died, God would have a reason for that, too. God loves those who bear His image, even the smallest and most helpless among us, and His purposes are often hidden from earthly eyes.”
“Life will no doubt throw you a curveball at some point, if it hasn’t already. When that time comes, we hope you’ll be able to find inspiration from Jaxon’s life. Trust your gut. Embrace uncertainty. Live the life you’ve been given, not the one you imagined. Know when it’s time to give and when it is time to receive. Celebrate the little things. Use your words carefully, recognizing the power they wield. Savor each day. Believe in miracles. Remember that you’re not alone in this. And always look up. For that’s where we find real strength.”
Jaxon’s father concluded that, even in his death, there’s value for others:
“There’s a miracle behind Jaxon’s story. We want to let other families know that even when there’s a dark situation, every life should be celebrated, valued and cherished,” Brandon Buell said.